Hard clam population demographics and age structure
Hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) population demographics were examined in several regions of the lower Chesapeake Bay in conjunction with a hard clam stock assessment survey. Shell morphometric data were collected in the field as clams were collected. These data provide valuable information on clam settlement and recruitment patterns throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Research sponsors and partners for these projects include:
- Virginia Marine Resources Commission Conservation and Replenishment Department
- NOAA/Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee
Growth rates for modern Chesapeake hard clam populations
Demographic information from the stock assessment was used to complement age assessments and growth studies. Clam shells provide a physical record of the growth history of the animal and valuable metrics to describe the clam’s environment throughout its life. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of clam shells collected from sites throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay provide data to assess modern clam growth rates in light of previous growth studies conducted by VIMS scientists over the past decades.